Prine on Prine: Interviews and Encounters with John Prine (Paperback)
“I’m so grateful that Holly has put together this fantastic collection of the best interviews and articles about our beloved John Prine spanning the whole six decades of his extraordinary career. For all of us who love and miss him so, this book is truly a treasured gift.” —Bonnie Raitt
“As close to an autobiography as we’re going to get from John Prine, Prine on Prine captures the inimitable, whimsical voice of one of our greatest songwriters . . . Nashville legend Holly Gleason knew the man and assembled this brilliant collection with a knowing eye and loving heart.” —Joel Selvin, author of Fare Thee Well: The Final Chapter of the Grateful Dead’s Long, Strange Trip and other books
Curated by a critic who knew him across five decades, Prine on Prine distills the essence of an iconic American songwriter: unguarded, unfiltered and real. In his own words, in his own time—on the road, in the kitchen, the Library of Congress, radio shows, movie scripts, and beyond.
John Prine hated giving interviews, but he said much when he talked. Embarrassed by fame, delighted by the smallest things, the first songwriter to read at the Library of Congress, and winner of the Pen Award for Literary Excellence, Prine saw the world unlike anyone else.
The songs from 1971’s John Prine remain spot-on takes of the human condition today, and his writing only got richer, funnier, and more incisive. The interviews in Prine on Prine trace his career evolution, his singular mind, his enduring awareness of social issues, and his acute love of life, from Studs Terkel’s radio interviews from the early ’70s to Mike Leonard’s Today Show packages from the ’80s, Cameron Crowe’s early encounter to Ronni Lundy’s Shuck Beans, Stack Cake cookbook, and Hot Rod magazine to No Depression’s cover story, through today.
Editor Holly Gleason enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Prine and his longtime co-manager, and she often traveled with him on tours in the late 1980s and represented him in the 2000s.
About the Author
Holly Gleason is a music critic, academic, and artist development consultant. Gleason enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Prine and his longtime co-manager. She often traveled with him on tours in the late 1980s and represented him in the 2000s. Her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Miami Herald, Musician, CREEM, Oxford American,and NPR Music. The 2019 Country Music Association Media Achievement Award recipient and a SOURCE Hall of Fame inductee, she created and contributed to Woman Walk The Line: How the Women of Country Music Changed Our Lives, the 2018 Belmont Book Award winner. She is also the coauthor of Miranda Lambert’s Y’all Eat Yet? She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
Reviews & Media
“So much insight and so many great personal stories behind this legendary, super talent. If you’re a John Prine fan you’re going to love this book. If not, please read it and listen to his music. You will then no doubt be one.” —George Strait
“Holly has created a beautiful collage by using John’s words to bring us into the center of his world, where family, music, imagination, and love reside with his struggle to remain that kid from Maywood whose curiosity birthed the beautiful songs and music he gifted to the world.” —Fiona Whelan Prine, president of Oh Boy Records
“I’ve loved John Prine since I was a little girl. Prine on Prine makes me feel like he’s been talking to me since he was a young man, and seeing him go through the phases of his career is a real gift. Holly Gleason knew John, so she understood how to take these interviews, movie scripts, tv shows and recipes and create a sense of who he was when he got done writing or performing. Now even more than a legend, he feels like a favorite uncle.” —Miranda Lambert
“With a deep understanding and knowledge of John Prine—the man and his music—Holly Gleason has searched every nook and cranny to curate a thoughtful biography of one of our greatest singer-songwriters. Her insightful text sets the scene as we experience Prine, the unfiltered raconteur, via five decades of media coverage, from major magazines to niche publications, television scripts to a recipe book, talk show appearances, movie roles, and his PEN Award presentation. Prine on Prine is both revelatory and entertaining.” —Holly George-Warren, author of Janis: Her Life and Music and A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton
“This carefully curated set of interviews shines a light on why this man and these songs are deeply, deeply embedded in our collective memory. It’s the magic of how a USPS mail carrier became the first songwriter to read at the Library of Congress at the behest of America’s poet laureate—and the way we’ve all spent decades marking life’s moments with John Prine records. In reading these pieces, it becomes clear: the interviews are the man—and the insight that Holly, who knew Prine well, brings to them shows John Prine truly was that man. His songs are powerful and spot-on, and seem to come from a very regular guy, albeit one with great compassion and wisdom. In reading Prine on Prine, he comes across that way, and more.” —Greg Harris, president and CEO, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
“Holly Gleason has always been one of our greatest music journalists, but this book solidifies the fact that she’s much more than that: she’s one of the great preservers of the stories that make up American music. Here the esteemed writer has meticulously gathered the best interviews, features, and reviews in which Prine offered insights into his process as one of the all-time best songwriters. She’s found the work of writers such as Studs Terkel, Roger Ebert, Ronni Lundy, Cameron Crowe, and many others who deftly show us the man behind the music. In doing so Gleason provides the fullest picture of Prine we’ve ever had before, and it’s one that enriches our understanding of him as an artist and as a person. Prine on Prine is a must-read for anyone who loves John Prine or anyone who loves great music.” —Silas House, author of Lark Ascending, Clay’s Quilt, The Coal Tattoo, and Southernmost
“Listening to John Prine instantly jolts me to a higher vibration and feels like I’m walking on holy ground, free, fearless and naked as the eyes of a clown. He shakes me, wakes me, conjuring up emotions I didn’t know I had, reminding me that tenderness is a virtue. His words make me want to be a better person, to recognize myself in everyone’s eyes, to hold all of humanity in high esteem—because we’re all in it together. Praise be to Holly Gleason for this oh so important, exquisitely curated collection. John Prine improved the world by being alive. Let’s do our best keep that big, beautiful ball rolling.” —Pamela Des Barres, author of I’m With the Band and Let’s Spend The Night Together
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Publication Date: September 12th, 2023
Series: Musicians in Their Own Words